Separate Personal Statements and Statement of Purpose?

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by helga, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. helga

    10+ Year Member

    Mar 6, 2008
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    I'm working on my personal statement- "life journey" (their description) and I'm wondering what exactly I should include in it? Should it be everything except my research interests?- i.e. volunteering, clinical experience, education history?

    This is the only school that has them separated (most schools that I applied to have an optional personal statement where you can explain any exceptional hardships) and its a really research oriented PhD program so I'm hesitant to sound too excited about my clinical experiences...but then what should I be writing about???

    I'd appreciate any insight people may have!

  2. ClinicalGal

    7+ Year Member

    Jan 24, 2008
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    I ran into the same thing while applying this year! I took the "personal statement" to be a general "why do i want to do this" type of essay and the "academic statement" more of chance to show my research interests, match, and experience. I basically detailed out all of my prior work and why that school is an ideal fit for me in the "academic statement" and left the "personal statement" to further explain why i want to be a clinical psychologist, what my future goals are, and what's motivated me to pursue the research i am interested in. Hope this helps!! :)
  3. Olivia101884

    5+ Year Member

    Oct 24, 2008
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    Psychology Student
    You know, it's a hard thing about deciding whether or not to include clinical experience(s) for a research-oriented Ph.D. program. I did research for a faculty member at a highly regarded research program and she told me NOT to include ANY clinical experiences in my essays to research-intensive programs. According to her, she and other faculty members want you to demonstrate your love of research, your ability to demonstrate this interest, and your future plans. Since many students enter these programs claiming a passion for research and then ultimately decide to do a career primarily in private practice, faculty are even more mindful/on the lookout for any potential "clinical types."

    However, if you feel your clinical experiences were complementary to your research, you may include it. For one of my programs, my clinical experiences corroborated well with what I had done research-wise, so I chose to include it, albeit very briefly. Sorry I couldn't be more of a help and best of luck!

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